Action Alert

If you haven't made your calls yet, please do so immediately

IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED
State Budget Proposal on Out-of-Network Reimbursement

Call Your Senate and Assembly Representatives in the Next 48 Hours!  A. 8557C | S. 6357C

Last week, New York ACEP scored a major victory in the State Legislature by convincing the State Senate to include provisions in their one-house budget proposal to prohibit health insurance companies from dictating fees for all emergency services in the State. Unfortunately, the Assembly proposal does not include New York ACEP's language.

Governor Cuomo's proposed State Budget requires "out-of-network" physicians who do not participate in an insurer's network of providers  to accept a reimbursement rate for emergency services that is "determined reasonable" by the insurer. The physician's only recourse is to file a dispute for each and every fee to an Independent Dispute Resolution Entity (IDRE). The volume of petitions, required time and cost of the disputes will make it impossible for emergency physicians to use the IDRE.

The Senate one-house budget proposal excludes 18 CPT codes for evaluation, management, critical care, and observation care services provided by emergency physicians in a hospital emergency department from the IDRE process and the requirement to accept fees dictated by insurance companies.

find-your-legislator-headerThis week the Senate and Assembly will meet in Albany in Budget Conference Committees to reconcile the differences between their two bills. That's why it is critical for you to call your State Senate and Assembly representatives this week in Albany.

  • Call your State Senate and Assembly representatives this week in Albany.
  • When speaking with your State Senator, thank them for including an exemption for emergency medicine in their one-house budget bill.
  • Ask both your Senate and Assembly representatives to push for including this exemption in the final 2014-15 State Budget.
  • Tell your representatives that you support protections for patients from excessive out-of-network bills. Allowing insurance companies to dictate fees for emergency services will significantly reduce patient access to qualified physicians by discouraging them from practicing in hospital emergency departments. In surveys done by the State Department of Financial Services, no record of complaints have been found for excessive bills by emergency physicians.
  • An exclusion for Emergency Medicine is needed to ensure patients have access to emergency services and to protect the emergency health care safety net in the State.

Click here to view New York ACEP's Statement on the Executive Budget Proposal on Regulation of Out‐of‐Network Health Care


The time is now. Take action today.


(June 17, 2013): Action Alert

Oppose Independent Practice for Nurse Practitioners S.4611-A (Young)/A.4846-A (Gottfried)
Call Your State Representatives in Albany this Week 

The State Legislature is scheduled to recess for the year on June 20.  Please call your State Senate and Albany representatives in Albany this week to voice your opposition to legislation (S.4611-A Young/A.4846-A Gottfried) that allows Nurse Practitioners (NPs) to practice independently. This legislation would compromise patient safety and result in higher costs to the State's health care system.

Senate bill 4611-A and Assembly bill 4846-A eliminate the requirements for written collaborative agreements and practice protocols for NPs who have practiced for more than 36 months and 3,600 hours. NPs who meet these practice standards would be authorized to have "collaborative relationships" with 1 or more licensed physicians in the specialty involved or with a hospital. The scope of practice for NPs would be expanded to include diagnosis of illness and physical conditions, the performance of therapeutic and corrective measures within a specialty area of practice, and the issuance of prescriptions for drugs, devices and immunizing agents. 

Tell your legislators that it is in the best interests of patients to have emergency care and services medically managed by a qualified physician who has the education, training and experience to respond appropriately.

Independent practice by Nurse Practitioners poses a number of safety concerns for patients as the training and experience of nurse practitioners is not equal to that of physicians. Nurse Practitioners have less training in the form of didactic and clinical education in obtaining degrees. In addition, nurse practitioners rarely participate in any formal specialty or subspecialty training, and therefore do not have a specialty board certification in any such specialty. 

Studies have found a greater utilization of services by NPs that could result in increased costs to the health care system. One study by the American College of Physicians found that patient groups assigned to Nurse Practitioners experienced 13 more hospitalizations annually for each 100 patients and 108 more specialty visits per year per 100 patients than those receiving care from a physician.

Call your State Senate and Assembly representatives this week:
Senate Switchboard, (518) 455-2800
Assembly Switchboard, (518) 455-4100

To find out who represents you in the Senate and Assembly go to:

http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?sh=search
http://www.nysenate.gov/


  (June 17, 2013) Action Alert

The Date of Discovery Bill (A.1056) is on the Assembly Codes Committee agenda this week   
Please call every Codes Committee member and your member of the Assembly today, Monday, June 17

The Date of Discovery Bill (A.1056) is on the Assembly Codes Committee agenda this week. This bill would expand the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases from 2 ½ years to 2 ½ years from the date the injury was discovered by the patient. Most states that have a date of discovery statute of limitations have a cap on pain and suffering to balance the impact of the broader statute of limitations. If enacted, this bill will result in an increase in your medical liability premium rates. All of medicine must stand together against this measure.
 
This is a very real threat.
You should contact every Codes Committee member and your member of the Assembly today, Monday, June 17.

View New York ACEP's memo in opposition

Below is the list of Codes Committee Members and their contact information. Please take some time today to reach out to these legislators immediately. We ask that you make a second call to your local assembly representative to voice your opposition to this bill. If you need help in identifying your assembly representative and to secure contact information, click here to be redirected to the New York Legislative Advocacy Center. 

The meeting will be held sometime off the floor today, Monday, June 17.

DO # Albany#
Lentol Kings (718) 383-7474 (518) 455-4477
Schimminger Eris, Niagara (716) 873-2540 (518) 455-4767
Brennan Kings (718) 788-7221 (518) 455-5377
Aubry Queens (718) 457-3615 (518) 455-4561
Wright New York (212) 866-5809 (518) 455-4793
Pretlow Westchester (914) 667-0127 (518) 455-5291
Cook Queens (718) 322-3975 (518) 455-4203
Cymbrowitz Kings (718) 743-4078 (518) 455-5214
Titus Queens (718) 327-1845 (518) 455-5668
O’Donnell New York (212) 866-3970 (518) 445-5603
Lavine Nassau (516) 676-0050 (518) 455-5456
Perry Kings (718) 385-3336 (518) 455-4166
Zebrowski Rockland (845) 634-9791 (518) 455-5735
Abinati Westchester (914) 631-1605 (518) 455-5753
Weprin Queens (718) 454-3027 (518) 455-5806
Mosely Kings (718) 596-0100 (518) 455-5325
Graf Suffolk (631) 589-8685 (518) 455-5937
Giglio Alleghany, Cattaragus (716) 373-7103 (518) 455-5241
McKevitt Nassau (516) 739-5119 (518) 455-5341
Montesano Nassau (516) 937-3571 (518) 455-4684
Ra Nassau (516) 437-5577 (518) 455-4627
Tenney Oneida et al (315) 853-2383 (518) 455-5334
 
The time is now. Take action today
 

A Call to Action
(September 25, 2012)
 
 
Urge the Governor to Veto the Observation Services Bill

Legislation giving flexibility to hospitals providing observation services was delivered to the Governor's desk for signature Friday, September 21. With five days left for action by the Governor, it is critical that the Cuomo Administration hears from emergency physicians across the state on this issue. We ask for your assistance to secure a veto of this legislation by writing a letter today.

Please send your letter today to the Governor's office in opposition to the legislation
that gives hospitals flexibility in providing observation services. A sample letter to customize and send can be found here.


Please work with us to organize advocacy for this issue. Encourage each emergency physician in your department to write to the Governor today by sending the letter to:

Mylan Denerstein
Counsel to the Governor
Executive Chamber
State Capitol
Albany, New York 12224

Key Points in Opposing the Legislation
  • Allows for a process that is de-centralized, less organized and more reliant on specialty consultants who are often not physically present in the hospital.
  • Relieves hospitals of the responsibility of committing qualified staff and adequate resources to observation services.
  • Increases costs, hampers patient flow and jeopardizes patient safety and care.



(August 21, 2012) A Call to Action
 
Urge the Governor to Veto the Observation Services Bill

New York ACEP expects legislation giving flexibility to hospitals providing observation services to be delivered to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his consideration soon. It is critical that the Cuomo Administration hears from emergency physicians across the sate on this issue. We ask for your assistance to secure a veto of this legislation.

Please send a letter today to the Governor's office in opposition to the legislation
that gives hospitals flexibility in providing observation services.
A sample letter to customize and send can be found here.


Please work with us to organize advocacy for this issue. Encourage each emergency physician in your department to write to the Governor today by sending the letter to:

Mylan Denerstein
Counsel to the Governor
Executive Chamber
State Capitol
Albany, New York 12224

Key Points in Opposing the Legislation
  • Allows for a process that is de-centralized, less organized and more reliant on specialty consultants who are often not physically present in the hospital.
  • Relieves hospitals of the responsibility of committing qualified staff and adequate resources to observation services.
  • Increases costs, hampers patient flow and jeopardizes patient safety and care.



A-Call-to-Action-800(August 15, 2012) A Call to Action

New York State Department of Health Observation Unit Regulations are Good for Patient Care and Reduce Health Care Costs

These regulations will be overturned by 2012 legislation (A.10158-A/S.7031-A) passed in the final days of the session. The legislation allows hospitals to provide observation care in any area of the hospital by practitioners with unspecified credentials and training. The legislation requires approval by Governor Cuomo.

We can only succeed in a Governor’s veto with your support and assistance. The emergency medicine community needs to advocate strongly for a veto from the Governor. We will be calling on you within the week to call and write the Governor urging his veto of this legislation.

The Facts:

  • Emergency physicians are uniquely trained and experts at recognizing, prioritizing and treating all of the injuries and illnesses known to modern medicine. When necessary, emergency physicians consult with specialists, but with the vast majority of patients they initiate an inpatient or outpatient plan of care without assistance, thus providing very cost effective care around the clock.
  • Hospitalists are trained in internal medicine or family medicine. They are not comfortable assessing, re-assessing and managing conditions that are traditionally managed by surgeons or specialists.
  • Emergency physicians are adept and expert at providing care and re-assessments over a limited time frame.
  • The academic specialty of emergency medicine has led the research and operational development of observation medicine for over three decades.
  • Recognizing the training and expertise of emergency physicians, the New York State Department of Health regulations require that observation services be placed under the direction and control of emergency departments within a distinct physical space with distinct staff.  In doing so, incoming Emergency Department (ED) patients will receive high quality care in the most efficient and swift manner possible.

Specific Concerns with the Legislation

If observation medicine is to effectively and safely advance, New York ACEP believes it must be supervised by emergency physicians in a distinct space with distinct staff and resources.

  • By scattering observation patients throughout a hospital, the pending legislation allows for a process that is de-centralized, less organized and more reliant on specialty consultants who are often not physically present in the hospital.
  • The legislation relieves hospitals of the important responsibility to commit staff and resources specific to observation services.
  • The legislation will inadvertently increase costs, hamper patient flow and jeopardize patient care.

This legislation should be vetoed to ensure better patient access, throughput and care through emergency physician directed observation units.

We urge you to write a letter to the Governor in opposition. New York ACEP will notify you when the legislation is on the Governor’s desk.  Please be ready to respond when called on - - your efforts will be critical in securing a veto by the Governor.

Watch for an update next week




A-Call-to-Action-800A Call to Action
(August 1, 2012)

Information you need to know about changes to Observation Services in New York State

A bill has passed the legislature and will be sent to the Governor for signature in the near future. We want you to know the facts so you are prepared to act when that happens.

For several years, New York ACEP worked tirelessly to promote the economic and clinical value of emergency physicians in the efficient and quality practice of hospital-based observation service. Emergency physicians and the mid-level providers they contemporaneously supervise are the experts who make time constrained clinical decisions across specialties with or without consultants.

Emergency medicine’s message was heard when the New York State Department of Health promulgated regulations effective in January 2012 that designated observation service under the direction and control of the emergency service; located within a distinct physical space; for up to 24 hours; with appropriately trained staff including a physician, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant immediately available and not assigned concurrent duties that would interfere with their availability.

This recently enacted observation service regulation was overturned last month with legislation passed in the Assembly and Senate.

New York ACEP strongly opposed this legislation through a series of meetings, opposition memos sent to the full legislature, meetings with bill sponsors and a number of action alerts. A request for an amendment to the bill to ensure that observation services where emergency physician directed was rejected by the bill sponsor. Despite all these efforts the bills passed in both houses and allows hospitals to provide observation care for a period of up to 48 hours in any area of the hospital determined to be the proper clinical area location for the care of a specific patient based on the needs of the patient and the availability of services to meet the needs.

Before the bill becomes law it must be signed by the Governor. Once the bill is delivered to the Governor he will have 10 days to act. New York ACEP continues to oppose this legislation with the Governor’s office and will advocate for a veto.

We are asking you to monitor your e-mail and open and read all communications from New York ACEP on observation services. When the time comes to mobilize emergency physicians to write and call the Governor --  you can play a major role.

The current regulations, first and foremost are good for patient care. They also benefit emergency physicians and the practice of emergency medicine. We need your help. Please be ready to respond when called on.

Watch for updates in the coming weeks



(June 18, 2012)

Immediate Action Needed
Observation Services Bill S.70314-A (Hannon)/A.10518-A (Gottfried) In the Senate: Bill scheduled for a full vote today. In the Assembly: Bill scheduled for a vote today in the Assembly Ways and Means Committee

Please call your legislators in the Senate and Assembly to express your opposition (6/18)

Legislation S.70314-A, sponsored by Senator Hannon, has been amended and is currently on the Senate floor and is expected to pass in the Senate sometime this week. The bill, A.10518-A, sponsored by Assemblyman Gottfried, is on the Assembly Ways and Means Committee agenda for today.

Emergency physicians need to call their State Senator and Assembly Member in Albany to express opposition to S.70314-A/A.10518-A and to ask them to tell their House Leadership not to move this bill. If this legislation is to be stopped, your calls are critical.

Please find the Assembly Switchboard number below followed by talking points on the legislation for use in making these calls.

Talking Points

- I am a constituent and an emergency physician who practices in the community. I am calling to express my opposition to A.10518-A which would eliminate requirements for observation units and the supervision of observation units by emergency physicians. Studies have found that observation units increase patient safety and satisfaction while decreasing unnecessary patient admissions and improving fiscal performance for both emergency departments and the hospitals in which they operate.
- I respectfully request your opposition to this bill and ask that you tell Leadership not to move the bill.

For a copy of New York ACEP's memorandum in opposition, click here.

For a copy of amended bill click here.


The time is now. Take action today.




(June 13, 2012)

Observation Services Bill A.10518 on Assembly Ways and Means Committee Agenda

Please call your legislator in the Assembly to express your opposition (6/12)

Legislation (A.10518, sponsor Assemblyman Gottfried) will be considered by the Assembly Ways and Means Committee prior to the end of the legislative session. This legislation has already passed the New York State Senate. We are asking New York ACEP members to call your State Assembly Members in Albany to express your opposition to A.10518 and to ask them to tell their House Leadership not to move the bill.  Your local efforts in making these calls are critical to our success.  

Please find the Assembly Switchboard number below followed by talking points on the legislation for use in making these calls.

Assembly Switchboard: 518-455-4100. To find your Assembly Member go to:  http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?sh=search  

Talking Points
-  I am a constituent and an emergency physician who practices in the community. I am calling to express my opposition to A10518 which would eliminate requirements for observation units and the supervision of observation units by emergency physicians. Studies have found that observation units increase patient safety and satisfaction while decreasing unnecessary patient admissions and improving fiscal performance for both emergency departments and the hospitals in which they operate.

-  I respectfully request your opposition to this bill and ask that you tell Leadership not to move the bill.   

For a copy of New York ACEP’s memorandum in opposition click here.



(June 12, 2012)

Nurse Practitioner Independent Practice Bill on Assembly Higher Education Committee Agenda

Please call your Legislators this week to express your opposition (6/12)

Legislation (A.5308, sponsor Assemblyman Gottfried/S.3289, sponsor Senator Young) will be considered by the Assembly Higher Education Committee tomorrow, Wednesday, June 13. While amendments are being considered, it is our understanding that the bill would still eliminate the requirement for a nurse practitioner to have a written practice agreement with a physician along with other patient protections that are currently in place. We are asking New York ACEP members to call your State Assembly Members and Senators in Albany this week to express your opposition to A.5803/S.3289 and to ask them to tell their House Leadership not to move the bill.  Your local efforts in making these two calls are critical to our success.

Please find the Assembly and Senate Switchboard numbers below followed by talking points on the legislation for use in making these calls.
Talking Points
- I am a constituent and an emergency physician who practices in the community. I am calling to express my opposition to A.5803/S.3289 to eliminate the requirement for a written collaborative agreement and practice protocols between nurse practitioners and physicians.

- By enabling nurse practitioners to practice independently, this legislation compromises patient safety and quality of care as the training and experience of nurse practitioners are not equal to that of physicians. Also this bill would increase costs to the State's health care system. Studies have found a greater utilization of services by nurse practitioners including hospitalizations and specialty referrals.  

- I respectfully request your opposition to this bill and ask that you tell Leadership not to move the bill.  

The time is now. Take action today.



(March 21, 2012)

Call the legislators listed below today.
Register your concerns on the controlled substance reporting and monitoring proposal.

A proposal is being discussed which would require every physician to consult and report to an electronic State database prior to writing prescriptions for controlled substances. As the Legislature and Governor work to reach an agreement on the State Budget by April 1, New York ACEP is concerned that this proposal could be included in a budget deal. While emergency medicine supports efforts to address controlled substance abuse and diversion, New York ACEP has reservations about how this proposal would impact emergency department operations and patients. We need your help to make key legislators aware of our concerns.

Using the talking points provided below, we are asking New York ACEP members to contact the legislators who sit on the Joint Health Budget Subcommittee to express these concerns. Provided below is a list of these legislators with phone numbers. The final Budget appears to be on a fast track, so you need to make your calls within the next 48 hours.

TALKING POINTS FOR YOUR PHONE CALL(S):

  • Hello, my name is ____ and I am an emergency physician. I am calling to request your support for exempting emergency physicians from any mandatory consulting and reporting requirements for controlled substance prescribing, which is under discussion as part of budget negotiations.
  • While I recognize the need to address the serious issues with drug abuse and diversion, I am very concerned about the impact this proposal would have on emergency department operations and our patients.
  • Emergency departments provide unscheduled emergency medical care involving pain control for very acute illnesses and injuries. A mandatory review of and reporting to a database before prescribing for patients in obvious need would be unnecessary and time consuming, detracting from the care of other patients. Also, I am concerned that care for the vast majority of patients who legitimately require help for pain will go untreated due to a cumbersome process and fear of profiling or punishment.
  • Instead, I would suggest that the State's existing prescription drug monitoring program be strengthened to include information on all controlled substance prescriptions that a patient has received and to provide emergency physicians with voluntary, easy access so that a physician who has a suspicion can consult the program.

CONTACT THE FOLLOWING LEGISLATORS:


Assembly Members Albany Phone Numbers
Richard Gottfried (Co-Chair) (518) 455-4941
Joseph Morelle (518) 455-5373
Joan Millman (518) 455-5426
Charles Lavine (518) 455-5456
Crystal Peoples-Stokes (518) 455-5005
Louis Tobacco (518) 455-4495
Andrew Raia (518) 455-5952
Senators Albany Phone Numbers
Kemp Hannon (Co-Chair) (518) 455-2200
Martin Golden (518) 455-2730
Catherine Young (518) 455-3563
David Valesky (518) 455-2838
William Larkin (518) 455-2770
Liz Krueger (518) 455-2297
Jose Peralta (518) 455-2529

The time is now. Take Action Today. 


(March 16, 2011)

 
As a member of the Medical Malpractice Reform Coalition, New York ACEP is asking you to take one minute to sign an online petition in support of the Medical Malpractice Reform proposals included in Governor Cuomo's State Budget. 


Budget discussions in Albany are moving rapidly and for the first time in many decades meaningful reform of medical liability is possible. Governor Cuomo’s budget proposal incorporates the recommendations of the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) including:
  • a $250,000 cap on pain and suffering
  • an indemnity fund for neurologically impaired infants
  • certificate of merit reform
  • disclosure of the medical expert’s identity
  • requirements for deposition of such expert
  • peer review protection.

We need your help.
The Senate Budget bill includes Governor Cuomo’s proposals for medical liability reform outlined above. The Assembly bill rejects the cap on pain and suffering, but does address the creation of an neurologically impaired infant fund.

Members of the Assembly/Senate Joint Budget Conference Subcommittees are meeting in Albany this week to reconcile the differences in their State Budget proposals. Once a consensus is reached by the Conference Subcommittees, a final State Budget will be printed and passed by both houses of the Legislature. The vote on the final bills is expected to take place on or before April 1st.
Please call members of the General Conference Committee and the Health Joint Budget Conference Subcommittee and urge them to enact meaningful medical liability reforms

Make as many calls as you can to Albany this week and ask for meaningful medical liability reforms in New York State.  When calling, emphasize that such reforms are vital to recruit and retain physicians in the state and to ensure patient access to the highest quality of care.

General Conference Committee
Assembly Member Telephone #
Speaker Sheldon Silver (D)518-455- 3791
Herman (Denny) Farrell, Jr. (D) 518-455-5491
Ronald Canestrari (D) 518-455-4474
Earlene Hooper (D) 518-455-5861
Brian Kolb (R) 518-455-3751

Senate Member 
Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R) 518-455-3171
John DeFrancisco (R) 455-3511
Tom Libous (R) 518-455-2677
Owen Johnson (R) 518-455-3411
John Sampson (D) 518-455-2788

Health Joint Budget Subcommittee
Assembly Member Telephone #
Co-Chair Richard Gottfried (D) 518-455- 4941
Audrey Pheffer (D) 518-455-4292
Jeffrey Dinowitz (D) 518-455-5965
Charles Lavine (D) 518-455-5456
Lou Tobacco (D) 518-455-4495
Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes (D) 518-455-5005
Robert Oaks (R) 518-455-5655

Senate Member 
Co-Chair Kemp Hannon (R) 518-455-2200
Martin Golden ((R) 518-455-2730
Catherine Young (R) 518-455-3563
David Valesky (D) 518-455-2838
Thomas Duane (D) 518-455-2451
Jose Peralta (D) 518-455-2529
William Larkin (R) 518-455-2770

You need to act now to secure meaningful medical liability reform.

Bill A3103A (Koon) / S4018-A (Hassell-Thompson) (August 17, 2010) was signed by Governor Paterson. This bill adds registered nurses and license practical nurses to assault of emergency medical professionals and provides for class C and D felonies for physician injury to them. To read the bill in its entirety, click here (enter bill number and 2010)

Action Alert (July 20, 2010)
(Update 8-2-10) Governor Paterson signed the No Fault Intoxicated Driver Bill into law (S.7845, Breslin/A.11116, Dinowitz) today. This legislation has been a top priority for New York ACEP for over a decade. Approval of the law, that takes effect 180 days from today, could not have happened without your calls and letters. This new law requires No Fault insurance carriers to compensate emergency physicians and other health care providers for emergency services provided to patients regardless of whether they were injured as a result of driving while intoxicated.
Action Needed Immediately to Urge Governor Paterson to Sign the No-Fault Bill S.7845 into Law
The No-Fault Bill passed by the Senate and Assembly was sent yesterday (July 19) to the Governor. The Governor has 10 days (July 29) to sign or veto the bill. We need your help to get Governor Paterson to sign S.7845 into law.
 
Please take action today. We need every New York ACEP member to call Governor Paterson's office at (518) 474-8390.  

This New York ACEP priority legislation (S.7845, Breslin) requires No-Fault insurance coverage for emergency medical services provided to a patient regardless of whether he or she has been injured by driving while intoxicated.
When calling, mention that you are an emergency physician in New York State and strongly urge the Governor's approval of Senate Bill 7845. Remind the Governor that physicians are required by Federal law (EMTALA) to provide emergency department care to all patients, regardless of whether the patient is intoxicated and/or insured. However, current law does not allow health care providers to receive compensation for their services under a patient's No-Fault automobile insurance policy if the patient was driving while intoxicated. As a result, emergency physicians and other health care providers must absorb the cost of the treatments provided. This is a gross inequity in the current law, which would be corrected by S.7845.
 
Your action is critical for success.  Please call today.  You can make a difference. 
 
Statistics
In 2005, 37% of all auto crash fatalities in New York were alcohol-related.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
 
Emergency departments in New York State provided care for 6,419 intoxicated drivers injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2002.
- National Trauma Data Bank Report of 2002
To view New York ACEP's memo in support of this bill click here. Please act today. 



Action Alert
(June 22, 2010)

(Update 7-2-10) On the final day of the formal 2010 legislative session, the Assembly unanimously passed one of New York ACEP's top priorities (A.11116/S.7845) sponsored by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and Senator Neil Breslin, to require No Fault insurance carriers to cover the costs of emergency services provided to patients regardless of whether they were injured by driving while intoxicated. Thank you for all your phone calls in support of this bill.

Action Needed TODAY to Urge Passage of the No-Fault Bill, A.11116 By the Assembly Codes Committee
 
Please call the office of every member of the Assembly Codes Committee no later than 1:30 pm Wednesday, June 23
 
At New York ACEP's request, legislation (A.11116, Dinowitz/ S.7845, Breslin) to require No-Fault insurance coverage for emergency medical services provided to a patient regardless of whether he or she has been injured by driving while intoxicated is on the Assembly Codes Committee agenda for Wednesday, June 23.
 
Due to your past efforts and that of New York ACEP's, the bill has already passed in the State Senate. Now, we need your continued help to ensure that A.11116 is reported out of the Assembly Codes Committee.
 
Please take action today. Call the members of the Assembly Codes Committee to ask for their support of this critically important legislation on the Committee agenda for Wednesday, June 23.  
 
Below is the list of Codes Committee members organized by region of the State. The Assembly switchboard number is (518) 455-4100. 
 
ASSEMBLY CODES COMMITTEE
Assembly Switchboard#: (518) 455-4100
Your action is critical to our success.  Please call today and tomorrow.  You can make a difference.
 
Understanding the Issue:
Current law permits an automobile insurance carrier to disclaim coverage in instances where a person is injured because he or she was driving while intoxicated. As a result, emergency physicians do not receive payment for rendering essential and lifesaving health care services to such patients.  This is a gross inequity in the system, which would be corrected by A.11116/ S.7845. 
 
Statistics:
In 2005, 37% of all auto crash fatalities in New York were alcohol-related.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
 
Emergency departments in New York State provided care for 6,419 intoxicated drivers injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2002.
- National Trauma Data Bank Report of 2002


To view New York ACEP's memo in support of this bill click here. Please act today. 

Action Alert (June 4, 2010)
[June 7, 11:54 am] We are pleased to report that the No Fault bill was just passed out of the Senate Insurance without issue. It has been referred to Senate codes. We will continued to press for its advancement in both house. Thank you New York ACEP members for your efforts in making calls to Senators.

Senate Insurance Committee to consider
No-Fault bill,  Monday (6/7/10)
Senate bill S.7845 sponsored by Senator Breslin 

At New York ACEP's request, legislation (S.7845, Breslin/ A.11116, Dinowitz) to require No-Fault insurance coverage for emergency medical services provided to a patient regardless of whether they have been injured by driving while intoxicated is on the Senate Insurance Committee agenda for Monday, June 7 at 11:00 AM. We need your help to ensure that Senate bill S.7845 is reported out of the Senate Insurance Committee.
Please take action today.
Senator Breslin, Chair & Bill Sponsor, Albany County, 518-455-2225
Senator Alesi, Monroe County, 518-455-5294
Senator Diaz, Bronx County, 518-455-2511
Senator Espada, Bronx County, 518-455-3395
Senator Golden, Kings County, 518-455-2730
Senator C Johnson, Nassau County, 518-455-2622
Senator C Kruger, Kings County, 518-455-2460
Senator Larkin, Orange County, Ulster County, 518-455-2770
Senator LaValle, Suffolk County, 518-455-3121
Senator Leibell, Dutchess County,  Putman County, Westchester County, 518-455-3111
Senator McDonald, Rensselaer County, Saratoga County, 518-455-2381
Senator Parker, Kings County, 518-455-2580
Senator Peralta, Queens County, 518-455-2529
Senator Sampson, Kings County, 518-455-2788
Senator Seward, Chenango County, Cortland County, Greene County, Herkimer County, Ostego County,Schoharie County, Tompkins County, 518-455-3131
Senator Stachowski, Erie County, 518-455-2426
Senator Thompson, Erie County, Niagara County, 518-455-3371
Senator Young, Allegany County, Cattaraugus County, Chautaqua County, Livingston County, 518-455-3563

Call as many members of the Senate Insurance Committee as you can today to ask for their support of this critically important legislation. Below is a chart of Albany phone numbers for every member of the Senate Insurance Committee.

Your action is critical to our success.  Please call today.  You can make a difference. THANK YOU.   
 
This bill requires No-Fault insurance coverage for emergency services provided to a patient regardless of whether they have been injured while driving while intoxicated. When speaking with the Senator explain why this bill is important to you as an emergency physician and as their constituent (see talking points below).
 
Understanding the Issue:

Current law permits an automobile insurance carrier to disclaim coverage in instances where a person is injured because he or she was driving while intoxicated. As a result, emergency physicians do not receive payment for rendering essential and lifesaving health care services to such patients. This is a gross inequity in the system, which would be corrected by S.7845/A.11116. Click here also makes it very difficult to get specialists to come to emergency departments to provide care to intoxicated drivers.

Physicians are required by Federal Law (EMTALA) to provide emergency care to all patients who walk through the door, regardless of whether the patient is intoxicated, yet emergency physicians are forced to absorb the costs associated with such treatment in these cases. This is a gross inequity in the system, which would be corrected by Senate bill 3554. To view New York ACEP's memo in support of this bill click here.
 
Statistics:
In 2005, 37% of all auto crash fatalities in New York were alcohol-related.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Emergency departments in New York State provided care for 6,419 intoxicated drivers injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2002.
- National Trauma Data Bank Report of 2002

To view New York ACEP's memo in support of this bill click here. Please act today.
 
Your involvement will make a difference.


(February 22, 2010)
[February 23, 4:12 pm] The Assembly Insurance Committee removed this bill from the 2-23 committee agenda. We appreciate everyone's efforts in making calls to Assembly representatives.

  
Assembly Insurance Committee to consider No-Fault bill Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Assembly bill 6843 sponsored by Assemblyman Dinowitz
Assembly representatives who are members of the Insurance Committee will be voting tomorrow, Tuesday, February 23 on the No-Fault bill A.6843.
We need you to make a call today urging your Assembly representative to pass Assembly bill 6843. Your call is crucial in passing No-Fault legislation and in making this issue a priority with your Assembly representative. 
 
Call the Assembly Switchboard (518) 455-4100 today.
 
This bill requires No-Fault insurance coverage for emergency services provided to a patient regardless of whether he or she has been injured while driving while intoxicated. When speaking with your Assembly representative explain why this bill is important to you as an emergency physician and as their constituent (see talking points below).
 
Understanding the Issue:
Current law permits an automobile insurance carrier to disclaim coverage in instances where a person is injured because he or she was driving while intoxicated. As a result, emergency physicians do not receive payment for rendering essential health care services to such patients. This inequity also makes it very difficult to get specialists to come to emergency departments to provide care to intoxicated drivers.

Physicians are required by Federal Law (EMTALA) to provide emergency care to all patients who walk through the door, regardless of whether the patient is intoxicated, yet emergency physicians are forced to absorb the costs associated with such treatment in these cases. This is a gross inequity in the system, which would be corrected by Assembly bill 6843.

Statistics:
In 2005, 37% of all auto crash fatalities in New York were alcohol-related.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
 
Emergency departments in New York State provided care for 6,419 intoxicated drivers injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2002.
- National Trauma Data Bank Report of 2002
Please act today. Your involvement will make a difference.


Action Alert (February 8, 2010)

[February 9, 11:12 am] The Senate Codes committee voted to move this bill to the Senate floor for a vote there. We appreciate everyone's efforts in making calls to Senators.

Please Call Your State Senator Today to Ask Them to PASS No-Fault Legislation

As a result of all of your local efforts, legislation (Senate bill 3554, sponsored by Senator Breslin, Senator Bonacic) to require No-Fault insurance coverage for emergency services provided to a patient regardless of whether he or she has been injured by driving while intoxicated, was voted out of the Senate Insurance Committee and is in the Senate Codes Committee. 

We need your continued help by calling your State Senators to urge their support and co-sponsorship of Senate bill 3554. Ask that this bill be voted on by the Codes Committee and passed by the Senate.

When speaking with your Senator explain why this bill is important to you as an emergency physician and as their constituent (see talking points below). 

Your your calls are crucial to make this issue a priority for Senators.  Please call your Senator in Albany today (Switchboard Number 518-455-2800). 

Understanding the Issue:

  • Current law permits an automobile insurance carrier to disclaim coverage in instances where a person is injured because he or she was driving while intoxicated. As a result, emergency physicians do not receive payment for rendering essential health care services to such patients. This inequity also makes it very difficult to get specialists to come to emergency departments to provide care to intoxicated drivers.
  • Physicians are required by Federal Law (EMTALA) to provide emergency care to all patients who walk through the door, regardless of whether the patient is intoxicated, yet emergency physicians are forced to absorb the costs associated with such treatment in these cases. This is a gross inequity in the system, which would be corrected by Senate bill 3554.
Statistics:
In 2005, 37% of all auto crash fatalities in New York were alcohol-related.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Emergency departments in New York State provided care for 6,419 intoxicated drivers injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2002.
- National Trauma Data Bank Report of 2002
Please act today. Your involvement will make a difference.


Action Alert (November 3, 2009)
Governor Calls Legislature Back to Session November 10 to Debate Budget Cuts
 
Governor Paterson recently announced a proposal to cut $2.5 billion in State share funding from the 2009-10 State Fiscal Year budget which ends March 31, 2010. 

The Governor has called the Legislature back for a special session November 10 to consider action on his Deficit Reduction Plan (DRP).

The Governor's DRP includes a cut of $5.7 million in Medicaid reimbursement for physician services. If enacted, this would result in a 10% cut to physician Medicaid fees from November 15-March 31, 2010 and a 3.7% cut to Medicaid fees for the next fiscal year (2010-2011).  

Please personalize the letter below and send it to the district office of your State Senator and Assembly member this week. You can also call your representatives and ask them not to cut Medicaid reimbursement for emergency physicians when they return to Albany for the Special Session.

Please act today. Your involvement will make a difference.
  
If you need assistance identifying your representatives, contact New York ACEP at (585) 872-2417 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Letter Sample 

Dear Senator/Assembly member:
 
I am writing as an emergency physician living/working in your district to ask you to reject provisions of Governor Paterson's proposed Deficit Reduction Plan (DRP) to cut Medicaid reimbursement for emergency physicians.
 
There is no question that the State is facing enormously difficult financial times, but now is not the time to reduce funding for the emergency health care safety net. The recession has created job losses and increased numbers of uninsured individuals who seek care in hospital emergency departments (EDs). In addition, the spread of the H1N1 virus is putting a tremendous strain on the staff and resources of EDs.
 
Emergency physicians are one of the largest indigent care providers in the State, providing care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to every patient who walks in the door, regardless of the patients' ability to pay. Over 7 million people visit New York's EDs every year. During nights, weekends and holidays, emergency departments are often the only available option for patients with concerning symptoms and injuries. The majority of services that we provide are for the treatment of high level, emergent and critical conditions.
 
Despite the fact that emergency physicians are mandated by State and Federal laws to care for every patient who enters the ED, Medicaid reimbursement is woefully inadequate to care for our patients, providing only $25 per visit. The costs for medical liability insurance, billing, overhead and standard benefits per patient vastly exceed the $25 per visit reimbursement, without taking into account compensation for patient care evaluation and treatment services.
 
New York's Medicaid rates are significantly less than those paid by Medicare for the same services and by neighboring states. This seriously undermines the practice of quality emergency medicine in New York State. It also greatly impacts New York's ability to retain practicing emergency physicians and recent graduates in emergency medicine. For instance, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) released a report card for New York in 2009, which ranked New York 36th in the nation for the number of board-certified emergency physicians to treat patients.
 
With the recession, the current pandemic outbreak of H1N1, the increased threat of terrorism, and the possibility of a natural disaster, it is particularly important for EDs to be prepared for the possibility of large-scale emergency crises. Emergency departments need more resources, not less, in these difficult times. I respectfully ask you to reject Governor Paterson's DRP proposal to cut reimbursement for emergency physicians when you return to Albany for the Special Session.
 
Sincerely, 
Your Name

Action Alert (September 1, 2009)

No-Fault Bill, S.3554

As a result of all of New York ACEP’s grassroots and Albany-based efforts during the 2009 legislative session, the New York Assembly passed legislation (A.6843, sponsored by Assemblyman Dinowitz) to require No-Fault insurance coverage for emergency medical services provided to a patient regardless of whether he or she has been injured by driving while intoxicated.  Now, we need your help to get the Senate to pass the bill (S.3554, sponsored by Senator Breslin) which is in the Senate Rules Committee when they return to Albany for a September Special Session.

Call Switchboard # (518) 455-2800 your Senator to ask for the passage of this legislation by the Senate in September.  Please call today. You can make a difference.

Understanding the Issue:
  • Current law permits an automobile insurance carrier to disclaim coverage in instances where a person is injured because he or she was driving while intoxicated.  As a result, physicians do not receive payment for rendering essential emergency health care services to such patients.  Physicians are required by Federal Law (EMTALA) to provide emergency care to all patients who walk through the door, regardless of whether the patient is intoxicated, yet emergency physicians are forced to absorb the costs associated with such treatment in these cases.  This is a gross inequity in the system, which would be corrected by Senate bill 3554.
  • This bill has passed the Senate with overwhelming support in prior years.
Statistics:
In 2005, 37% of all auto crash fatalities in New York were alcohol-related. - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Emergency departments in New York State provided care for 6,419 intoxicated drivers injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2002. - National Trauma Data Bank Report of 2002

If you need assistance identifying your representatives, contact New York ACEP at (585) 872-2417 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 
Action Alert (June 18, 2009)

No Fault Legislation
Please Call Your State Senator Today to Ask Him/Her to PASS No-Fault Legislation


We need your continued help by calling your State Senators TODAY to urge their support and co-sponsorship of Senate Bill 3554. Ask that this bill be voted on by the Senate before the session adjournment.

As you may be aware the State Senate is currently deadlocked with a 31-31 divide with both the Senate Republicans (plus one Democrat)(31) and the Senate Democrats(31) claiming control of the house. In this case your calls are crucial to make this issue a priority for Senators.  Please call your Senator in Albany today (Switchboard Number 518-455-2800). 

First and Foremost tell your Senator that this bill has Bipartisan Support with Senator Breslin (Democrat) and Senator Bonacic (Republican) co-sponsoring the bill.

As a result of all of your local efforts, legislation (Senate bill 3554, sponsored by Senator Breslin, Senator Bonacic) to require No-Fault insurance coverage for emergency services provided to a patient regardless of whether he or she has been injured by driving while intoxicated, has already passed the full State Assembly and was voted out of the Senate Insurance Committee and is currently on Third Reading or ready for final passage in the politically deadlocked Senate. 

When speaking with your Senator explain why this bill is important to you as an emergency physician and as their constituent (see talking points below). 

Understanding the Issue:
Current law permits an automobile insurance carrier to disclaim coverage in instances where a person is injured because he or she was driving while intoxicated. As a result, emergency physicians do not receive payment for rendering essential health care services to such patients. This inequity also makes it very difficult to get specialists to come to emergency departments to provide care to intoxicated drivers.

Physicians are required by Federal Law (EMTALA) to provide emergency care to all patients who walk through the door, regardless of whether the patient is intoxicated, yet emergency physicians are forced to absorb the costs associated with such treatment in these cases.  This is a gross inequity in the system, which would be corrected by Senate bill 3554.

Statistics:
In 2005, 37% of all auto crash fatalities in New York were alcohol-related.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Emergency departments in New York State provided care for 6,419 intoxicated drivers injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2002.
- National Trauma Data Bank Report of 2002


find-your-legislator-300x87
Click graphic to be redirected to the
New York Legislative Action Center



If you need assistance identifying your representatives, contact New York ACEP at (585) 872-2417 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Action Alert (June 18, 2009)

Medical Malpractice Rate Freeze
With a few days left in the scheduled 2009 Legislative Session and the State Senate deadlocked in a 31-31 leadership struggle, absent intervention by the Governor and the Legislature physicians face the possibility of rate increases of over 15% after July 1, 2009. The premium rate freeze, enacted in 2008 by the State Legislature and Governor, expires June 30. The issue of controlling the exorbitant cost of physician medical liability insurance continues to be debated but today with literally days left in the Legislative Session the message is simple:
Extend the Medical Malpractice Rate Freeze that Expires on July 1, 2009

Call Governor Paterson, 1-518-474-8390
Call Speaker Silver, 1-518-455-3791
Call Senator Sampson, 1-518-455-2788
Call Senator Skelos, 1-518-455-2788
Call Senator Espada, 1-518-455-3395
Call your local senator and assembly person.